Investigation says toxin killed the Vancouver aquarium’s beluga whales

Qila and Aurora died just nine days apart in November 2016

The Vancouver Aquarium says a toxin was the cause of death of two beluga whales last November, but the exact substance couldn’t be identified.

The conclusion is the result of a five-month investigation that also determined the toxin was likely introduced by food, water or through human interference.

The aquarium’s head veterinarian, Dr. Martin Haulena, says the investigation has helped them understand what happened and how they can help ensure the safety of the mammals in their care.

The aquarium says that is has taken several steps to protect the remaining animals at the aquarium including enhanced food screening, overhauling its water treatment systems and real-time testing of the circulating water.

The aquarium says in a news release it is also significantly updating its security to monitor perimeter access and reduce potential threats of human interference.

The belugas, 21-year-old Qila and her mother, 30-year-old Aurora, died nine days apart last November from what officials said was a mysterious illness.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Freezing temperatures expected in Lower Mainland

Snowfall warning ends, but surge or icy air to continue

Ball hockey fundraiser to honour Langley man lost to cancer

Annual tournament at UBC aims to raise $45,000 this year

Man found guilty of murder of Good Samaritan

Brad McPherson was murdered at a party early on the morning of Christmas Eve 2011.

Langley lacrossers roughed up 22-12 during Calgary stopover

Next Saturday, Feb. 24, the team hosts a Vancouver Stealth Experience, inviting guests on the floor.

Aldergrove welcomes new Community Association

Several dozen attend introductory meeting of new Aldergrove Community Association

Man who stole millions from Seabird Island band sentenced to 4.5 years jail

Stephen MacKinnon sentenced in Chilliwack court for stealing $2.3 million over eight years

B.C. man brings dog to court as ‘best witness’

Man is defending himself on charges of uttering threats, possessing weapon for dangerous purposes

Vancouver artist’s cartoon of Florida school shooting resonates

Cartoon shows football coach, one of the victims, meeting others killed in school shootings

Trudeau family arrives in India for state visit

Seven-day visit includes meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Military seeks DNA experts to help ID missing war dead

Federal program recovers, identifies and arranges burials for Canada’s nearly 28,000 missing war dead

B.C. files new legal action against TransMountain pipeline

Province tries to uphold City of Burnaby bylaws, provoking Alberta

BCHL Today: Powell River stuns Vernon and BCHL grads lead Team Canada

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Most Read